Ten months and counting and it makes an inch of snow feel like you’ve won the lottery. Rather cryptic, huh?
As you recall, in late March of last year I discovered a tumor on Miss ABBA that was unlike the “fatty tissue” tumors that are common in older, larger breed dogs. I immediately made an appointment for ABBA to see her veterinarian, Dr. Scott Macon, the following Monday.
That examination confirmed it wasn’t a “fatty tissue” lump like the few others that ABBA had growing just under her skin for years.
The next morning, Dr. Macon was going to remove the cancerous tumor and we’d begin chemotherapy and radiation. However, he called and told me the x-ray confirmed his suspicions that the cancer had already started metastasizing. He could remove it, but since it had spread to the lymph nodes, it would be a painful process because it would require more surgery to remove the nodes, in addition to the chemo and radiation.
Those surgeries and the recovery would take place over several painful months and it might buy Miss ABBA another year. Without surgery, chemo, and radiation, she would live about two to three months.
I made the painful decision to let it be and make sure she had the most enjoyable two to three months on top of the wonderful almost 11 years we had already shared together.
I watched her closely to see if I noticed the changes. First, it would be heavy breathing as the cancer spread into the chest and lungs. Other than the summer heat and humidity that caused us all to pant, I didn’t see any changes.
She made it to her 11th birthday in May and celebrated with us and Mr. Panda, the shar-pei from Chicago that we had for five months last year. Summer turned into fall and in late October, ABBA went back to the vet to have another series of x-rays done to see how the cancer had progressed.
Great news! The doctor said that the tumor from the typically aggressive form of cancer, anal sac adenocarcinoma, was not getting bigger and was not spreading. The only down side was that the lumbar lymph nodes (near the back hips) were swelling and pushing onto the colon. However, he said the colon had a lot of room to move around and as long as she continued to eat and poop, everything was good.
This past week, I called and asked if Miss ABBA should come back in for more x-rays since its been three months and he said if nothing has changed, wait until our typical early spring visit.
So, this long back story gets me around to the first line.
Miss ABBA loves to swim and she loves the snow. After she was diagnosed, we had one more day in early April when a few big, wet snowflakes started falling. While it didn’t stick, I was convinced that would be ABBA’s last snow. I’m so glad I was wrong.
While this has been a very boring winter by Quad Cities’ standards with only 9″ of snow this season (typically, we should be close to 19″), Miss ABBA has enjoyed every snow. Last night, only 0.9″ of snow covered the ground and you’d think we had a record snowfall.
Here’s a video of my little angel making her own snow angels.
And, check out this short video of her acrobatics and dismount in her own little snow dog Olympics.